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Global Repercussions

April 23, 2008

People around the world are hungry for American products—movies, television shows and cigarettes—and they love our food. American fast-food restaurants are sprouting up worldwide. In 2007, McDonald’s announced its plan to open about 400 new restaurants in Asia and 150 new restaurants in Europe.

As our eating habits become fashionable throughout the world, so do our health concerns. In November 2006, the European Commission reported that 38% of European women were obese. Food corporations spend millions of dollars influencing people in developing countries to consume more of these modern foods and abandon their traditional diets.

Overweight people now outnumber undernourished people in the world. The World Health Organization's estimates agree: globally, there are about 1 billion overweight adults, and 300 million of them are obese; in contrast, about 800 million do not have enough to eat. Even Africa, a continent previously thought of as being synonymous with hunger and food scarcity, is seeing a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes.

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.